Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

27 May

Boris Johnson and 23 other world leaders are trying to shape a pandemic treaty “like that forged after the Second World War”, says the Telegraph. It will seek to end fractious vaccine diplomacy and focus on “the next health crisis”. The PM has urged Britons to go out and “have fun” as lockdown starts to ease. The UK is set to sizzle at 24C in some areas today – higher than St Tropez and Mallorca. The “door is not closed” on summer holidays, says Health Secretary Matt Hancock. But MPs have been told vaccine passports are being developed by the “shambolic” team behind the test-and-trace app, The Times reports. According to one MP, “Lots of people on the call said ‘Oh no!’”.


Craven Hollywood is bowing down to China

One of the stars of the latest Fast and Furious film referred in passing to Taiwan as a “country” on Taiwanese TV earlier this month, prompting fury on the Chinese social media site Weibo. But the megastar actor and wrestler John Cena “accidentally told the truth”, says Sonny Bunch in The Washington Post. Cena is a big deal – he has 15 million Instagram followers and is worth an estimated $60m – but studio bosses will be terrified that he has jeopardised the Fast and Furious franchise, which has grossed $6bn and counting.

Inside politics

Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, has acquired heartthrob status, says Eugene Daniels in Politico. His female fans, who call themselves the #DougHive, went wild when he was spotted blowing kisses at Harris during Joe Biden’s first presidential address to Congress. “What a true gent!!😍😍😍” wrote one admirer on a fan-run Facebook page called Doug Emhoff, Esquire: Our Second Gentleman.


An unauthorised biography of Keir Starmer will be published this July. The book is called A Life of Contrasts, which was the title of Diana Mitford’s autobiography. Mitford was a devoted fascist who married Oswald Mosley with Hitler as a guest of honour, so “this may not be all that helpful for a leader trying to rid his party of anti-Semitism”, says Patrick Kidd in The Times. But the matching titles are “a coincidence”, the publisher insists. “The two inhabit somewhat different worlds.”

Gone viral

A video of a pygmy marmoset tentatively befriending a bush cricket has bowled over Twitter users. The clip is from the Apple TV+ series Tiny World, which is dedicated to the smallest animals on the planet. The South American pygmy marmoset is one such mini creature – it’s the smallest monkey in the world. Adults typically weigh 100 grams and can fit in the palm of your hand.


Actress Kathy Burke has no time for the mumbling thespians she thinks have blighted TV over the past few years. “Actors just don’t open their mouths any more,” she told an audience at the Lyric Theatre in the West End this week. “It is self-indulgent. They are, like, ‘I am so good at acting, I don’t need to open my mouth.’” The 56-year-old said she puts subtitles on, and offered some acting advice: “Enunciate and speak up, you f***wit.”


Quoted 27-05

“The easiest kind of relationship for me is one with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.”

Joan Baez

Snapshot answer

They’re atoms, the smallest ordinary unit of matter in the universe, and this is the highest-resolution photograph ever taken of them. It was shot by scientists at Cornell University, who zoomed in 100 million times using a state-of-the-art electron microscope. Previously we could only take images of samples that were a few atoms thick, says PetaPixel, and even those were blurry. “Until now, we’ve all been wearing really bad glasses,” explains Professor David Muller. “Now we actually have a really good pair.”